Tuesday, 5 May 2015

The Slow Road -- Regaining some Kitchen Love


It has been a long time since I've "loved" cooking.  At least it feels like a long time.  Maybe it's just the constant, relentless pressure of family expectation that satisfying meals brimming with love will grace the table every single night.  In truth, the best meal I've had at home seem to be the one which consisted of the worst excuse for meat I will ever buy and paired with packaged coleslaw.  Because all I did was throw something in the oven, open bags and tip things in bowls.  After six weeks of absolutely no short cuts this somehow felt good.  It wasn't good.  The meat was maybe not even meat.  And ever since that meal and the end of our fast I have moaned and groaned about people who think they have to eat every. single. day.

What is with that?

But I am on my way back.  Millimeter, by millimeter.  The first meal that felt good in every sense of the word was a meal of the best leftovers I've ever seen!  We had a welcome dinner for some new people in our church and we were sent home with an abundance of leftovers.  The meal above was made from cold jacket potatoes made into salad with coleslaw to which I added dressing and chicken tenderloins.

Tenderloins.  Let's talk about that!  I have never bought them because I figured they would be so dry, like breast meat tends to be.  I was so completely and exactly wrong.  They are silky and moist and perfect.  We've had them a few times since last weekend.  Tossed in flour with salt and old bay seasoning and then pan-fried, they seem to just be perfect with everything.  I am in love with them, I think.

The second meal came in the form of Miss Sunshine's birthday meal.  The poor girl is now 19 and birthday's are officially boringly grown up.  But she finally chose her meal and opted for a creamy alfredo pasta bake with homemade apple and strawberry pie for dessert.  This meal was just chicken (tenderloins!!!), asparagus and semi-dried tomatoes mixed in with the cooked pasta, cream and sour cream.  Don't judge - it was a birthday.

This very simple meal was delicious and quick and easy and.... well... everything I think I've been missing.  It just felt nice to be in the kitchen making a meal that would bring joy.  And for two days in a row I've been able to make dinner without having a meltdown.

Tonight?  Roast chicken and vegies.  Perfect on a windy, rainy day.

Speaking of weather, did you know it is 33C in Kuala Lumpur right now?  And humid?  While it's all of, like, 15C here?  Dh & I are heading there in a few weeks.  I'll be melting instead of shivering.  Who are we?  I have no idea.  This is not anything close to how we roll around here.  But Dh needs to see a man about some cups and this will be the very last time I will have the freedom to accompany him during the school term. 

5 comments:

Julie H said...

Enjoy your holiday from meal preparation in KL :)

EssentiallyJess said...

A man about some cups? That sounds intriguing!
I have a love hate relationship with the kitchen. I enjoy cooking things, but I don't like doing dishes, or that my back gets sore. One day I will have a nice high kitchen bench that I don't have to lean over.

EssentiallyJess said...

A man about some cups? That sounds intriguing!
I have a love hate relationship with the kitchen. I enjoy cooking things, but I don't like doing dishes, or that my back gets sore. One day I will have a nice high kitchen bench that I don't have to lean over.

Tracy said...

Thanks Julie!! :)

Haha Jess. It's not so exciting, the cup thing. Dh owns a coffee company. The more exciting thing is flying. And visiting KL. And not so much the melting from the heat.

Rosehips and Rhubarb said...

I've been there, my friend. The lack of desire to cook hits us all eventually, I think. It's the after-work rush. And the knowledge that half the family will turn up their noses. And we're tired and want someone else to do the whole process (plan, shop, store, cook, clean up), for a change. I'm glad you're getting your mojo back.